Professionals and Practitioners

Research Governance Framework

Research Governance is a framework developed by the Department of Health that sets out to encourage the use of research, whilst ensuring that research is conducted to the highest standard. The central purpose of the framework is to protect participants involved in the research by ensuring there are clear arrangements in place to identify and manage any risks that may be associated with a piece of research.

A full copy of the framework can be found on the Department of Health website

What does Research Governance cover?

If the activity proposed is being conducted by an individual not employed by the Council, or an external organisation, and requires accessing social care staff, users, carers or their data, it is likely that the work will be classified as research under the Research Governance Framework and will require approval before the work can commence. In general terms approval is likely to be required for most studies or student projects that involve conducting surveys, interviews, focus groups or the analysis of staff or user data.

How does Research Governance work?

In Hampshire the Research Governance Framework is implemented by the Research Development and Governance Panel who review all proposals in relation to the 5 core principles set out in the framework and then either approve, approve with conditions or reject a proposal. A flow diagram explaining the Research Governance process is available.

The 5 core principles of the governance are as follows:

  • Ethics: ensuring the dignity, rights, safety and well being of research participants
  • Science: ensuring that the design and methods of research are subject to independent review by relevant experts
  • Information: ensuring full and free public access to information on the research and its findings
  • Health and Safety: ensuring at all times the safety of research participants, researcher and other staff
  • Finance: ensuring financial probity and compliance with the law in the conduct of research.

A full copy of the Research Governance approval procedure for external researchers is available.

How do I submit a research proposal for approval?

If you want to undertake research that will involve accessing social care staff or service users, approval will be required by the Research Development and Governance Panel.

To submit a proposal to the panel you will need to complete the External Governance project plan form, which will ask you provide information on the aims and objectives of the research, the methodology being used and details on how the findings will be analysed and disseminated. In addition, you also have to provide details on any ethical considerations that may have to be addressed as part of the research and what measures will be taken to ensure data protection and the confidentiality of the research participants.

Those wishing to undertake research with Adult Services must first contact the Research Manager rachel.dittrich@hants.gov.uk via email or telephone 07545 415319 for an informal discussion and a project plan form.

Those wishing to undertake research within the Children's Services Department must first contact the Research & Evaluation Unit via email at HEPS.research@hants.gov.uk or by phoning 01962 876233 for an informal discussion and the necessary form.

Once a proposal has been submitted you will receive confirmation that it has been received. If any further information, or clarification, is required on the proposal the lead researcher will be contacted directly, either by telephone or email, so all the necessary detail is available before the proposal goes to panel.

Students wishing to do research for undergraduate, BSc and MSc dissertations are strongly encouraged to submit their applications between 1st September and 15 December to ensure a timely response.

Prior to submitting their application to Hampshire County Council, students should obtain ethics committee approval from their University, if such a process is available and relevant to the proposal. Students should submit their proposals to Hampshire County Council via their University supervisor's email account. This is to ensure that the quality of the proposal is checked by a member of staff at the University prior to it being sent to Hampshire